- Fourth place finish lands England second place in World Series
- England lose out to Russia in Amsterdam play-offs
England Women finished second in the inaugural IRB World Sevens Series this season behind New Zealand after their fourth place finish in the final leg in Amsterdam today (Saturday).
Barry Maddocks’ side knew they were unable to take the series title after New Zealand booked their place in the semi-final this morning, but the England Head Coach he has always underlined that England’s priority is the Rugby World Cup this season.
Maddocks said: “The World Cup is the most important tournament for us and that is why for every round of the World Series we have taken a completely different squad. We want to give as many players in our Elite Playing Squad the chance to put their hands up for Russia next month.
“I am actually really chuffed with finishing fourth today. After making six changes to the squad that won in London six days ago, this young team has really exceeded my expectations. And the most important thing is that they have also really given me some selection headaches for the World Cup. There are certainly more players in the mix now for the European Sevens Series coming up and the World Cup in June.”
England had to settle for the third/fourth place play-offs after losing 7-12 to Canada in the semi-finals earlier today. England had led 7-0 at the break after a try from Katy McLean which underlined why she is one of the world’s best fly-halves. But Canada came back strongly after the break with Bianca Farella and then Kelly Russell scoring to take the victory.
England’s defeat pitted them against Russia who have been impressive all weekend and with England down to just nine players for the final game a win was always going to be a tough ask.
Russia lived up to expectations and raced into a 21-0 lead at half-time with a brace coming from Baizat Khamidova and another try from Nadezda Yarmotskya. Ruth Laybourn pulled back five points for England after the restart but England’s defence could not stand up to the physical Russians who added a fourth try courtesy of Marina Petrova making the final score 26-5.